Conflicts around Virunga National Park: Grassroots perspectives

East Africa
Democratic Republic of Congo

Virunga National Park, a UNESCO world heritage site in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, is beset by conflicts. This report analyzes the perspectives of people living in the southern Virunga area on the main sources of tension between them and the park. They perceive these tensions to relate to:

1. Conflicts around the park’s boundaries, access to natural resources, and human-wildlife conflict;

2. The park’s law enforcement activities and the behavior of park guards;

3. The park’s approach to community engagement, decision-making, and development projects.

The report is based on first-hand testimonies of people living in the vicinity of the southern and a part of the central sector of the park, gathered during long-term field research conducted between 2012 and 2019.

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